Sunday, 18 March 2012

Story of a Wannabe Boy Racer - Race 1

Training has been done! I line up with 13 other 60+ racers watching the start of the 40+ race which will be on the circuit at the same time and will lead to problems for me.

The marshal shouts go, I fiddle with my Garmin and take 3 attempts to clip in, must be nerves. I look up and the other riders are 20 yards down the road and pulling away fast. By the time I get up to speed they are 30 yards ahead and my heart rate has hit maximum. I chase but all I can think of is the line from a Bugsy Malone song ‘If you haven’t got it you might as well quit’ my first bunch race, on the first lap I haven’t got it. I didn’t give up and somehow got on to the last wheel. I knew I shouldn’t be sitting last but that was all I could do and every corner was a big effort. I started to calm down after a few laps, yo-yoing off the back with another rider. I was now at my limit again and looked to see how long we had been riding 10 minutes, only another 60 minutes to go!

I started settling down but am always in the last 3 positions even though I try and move up a couple of times. Some riders whom have been dropped from the other race get in our group and take me off the back I am again 30 yards down but am confident I can get back, which I do. A few laps later another dropped rider slows on one of the fast corners I lose the line completely and pick my spot to go off the circuit, luckily it is grass and I manage to stay upright and jump back on the circuit after 40 yards. However, again 30 yards back, those bloody 30 yards. Adrenalin gets me back to the group and the 3 laps to go board appears. The pace goes up and again I am in last position but feeling pleased that I am still there. I had made up my mind not to sprint and was just going to finish with the other riders. Out of the last corner I am in my usual last position and couldn’t resist a little dig, I pass a couple of riders and then a gap opens and I pass a few more.

Well that’s it. I was ninth and THIRD in my age category. I wish I had taken the sprint more seriously as I believe I could have got a couple more places.

Lessons learnt

1. Don’t play with the Garmin at the start
2. Need to improve cornering
3. Need to get out of last position on the corners
4. Take the sprint seriously, but I cannot sprint.
5. Never again.

Tomorrow 48 mile road race in Essex!

As its Mothers day I will probably climb off after a few miles so I can get home early!

Phil Stone